[LINK] Call centre staff sell AU data
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
Wed Nov 16 17:13:41 AEDT 2016
[blind freddy saw this coming, right?]
Your mobile phone records and home address for sale
Nick McKenzie, Richard Baker
Published: November 16, 2016 - 4:58PM
Corrupt insiders at offshore call centres are offering the private details of Australian customers of Optus, Telstra and Vodafone for sale to anyone prepared to pay.
A Fairfax Media investigation can reveal Mumbai-based security firm AI Solutions is asking between $350 and $1000 in exchange for the private information, but even more if the target is an Australian "VIP, politician, police, [or] celebrity".
AI Solutions is just one of potentially several private companies selling phone records, home addresses and other private details of Australian telecommunication company customers. They in turn have received the information from employees of the call centres used widely by Australian businesses.
Security industry sources said the practice has been long-standing. AI Solutions has told customers it has sold people's personal data for several years.
Optus has called in the federal police to investigate the data breach after it was contacted by Fairfax Media.
Optus, Telstra - which is holding an investor briefing in Sydney on Thursday - and Vodafone have stressed they are aware of the problem and have invested heavily in security procedures to counter it.
The revelations underscore the risks facing Australian consumers and businesses as a vast amount of personal or private data is collected and often stored offshore by service providers, financial institutions and government agencies.
It also raises fresh concerns about risks faced in using offshore call centres, where it may be more difficult to ensure data security.
AI Solutions actively markets its services to prospective Australian clients via an Indian businessman who uses the name Imran Khan. It is unclear if this is a false name.
But Fairfax Media has confirmed that AI Solutions has previously, and on numerous occasions, sold Australians' personal data to third parties.
It recently wrote to a Melbourne corporate intelligence and security company, boasting that it has a "long list" of Australian clients buying data from the offshore call centres.
3 major telecom numbers details I can provide you. Telstra, Vodafone and Optus," the Indian company's representative wrote in a text message to a prospective client seen by Fairfax Media.
The company charges $350 to provide a person's home address and charges $1000 for a "full extract". This includes a person's home address, date of birth, alternative phone numbers and "more than 1 years billing statements" and "calling data history".
"And for VIP, politician, police, celebrity, charges are different," one message said.
While the data being illegally sold will not contain the actual content of text messages or what has been said during phone calls, it does contain information about who a person has called, the location at which a call is made and other sensitive data and metadata.
This information could be of use to companies engaged in corporate spying or intelligence gathering, private investigators, marketing firms and organised criminals seeking to engage in identity fraud, or to locate people. It is possible that foreign intelligence services could also use the data theft service.
The Indian firm requests payment via Western Union or Money Gram remittance services.
In his LinkedIn profile, "Imran Khan" writes that he is capable of "Under-Cover Operations, Property Investigation, Mobile Investigation" and "Interception in mobile communications technology in certain telecom companies".
When asked for comment, "Imran Khan" replied in a message: "I spoke my attorney [sic] he said for your interview it will cost you 10,000$ aud. if you want to know the process and clients list ' because I guess I'm not doing anything unofficial '. Before going ahead make sure you have proper evidence ' or be ready for my claim (allegations) I have family in Australia too'. As I will get three claim. For three states."
He later reduced his price for an interview to $8000.
An Optus spokesman said the matter had been referred to the AFP and that "Optus is aware that a third party has attempted to infiltrate our call centres seeking access to customer data".
Vodafone said in a statement that it is "aware there are individuals who do attempt to illegally access data through various channels from companies and organisations which hold customer information".
"We would urge anyone who may have information about potential privacy breaches to report it to us for investigation and referral to authorities," Vodafone said.
Telstra said in a statement that it was "aware this type of sophisticated criminal activity does take place from time to time across most industries and we do everything we can to protect our customers' data".
It urged customers who believed their data may have been breached to contact it so it could investigate and refer to police.
The Australian Federal Police has been approached for comment, as has AI Solutions.
Know more? Contact us anonymously on JournoTips or SecureDrop
This story was found at: http://www.theage.com.au/business/your-mobile-phone-records-and-home-address-for-sale-20161116-gsqkwe.html
I write books. http://janwhitaker.com/?page_id=8
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
Some psychopaths become serial killers, and other psychopaths become prosecutors. - Bob Ruff, Truth and Justice, June 2016
Sooner or later, I hate to break it to you, you're gonna die, so how do you fill in the space between here and there? It's yours. Seize your space.
~Margaret Atwood, writer
_ __________________ _
More information about the Link